I love to bake and I remember driving my mother insane to buy me all the fancy gadgets and what not. But over the ten or so years I have been experimenting I have realised a few things: nothing beats a good ol’ hand whisk, galvanised tins over black metal any day and no scent will ever top the scent of baking. So here are my five essentials for when you start out.
You will be surprised by how much you can make in just one square tin. Brownies, lemon bars, layered desserts, you name it. A square pan will take you a long way and the best part is, you can just take the pan with you to a pot luck and serve directly. Now that’s convenience, squared!
2. A 9-inch round cake pan
Round cake pans are the best. Buy two and make tiered cakes like a pro, get even layers each time and basically create master pieces with the simplest equipment.
3. A 9×5 inch loaf tin
I was going to go with a tart pan with a removable bottom but pies and tarts are when you move from noob to intermediate. The beginner needs to have a loaf tin on hand at all times. Chances are you will be making a lot of bread, ice creams and box cake desserts and a loaf tin is invaluable. You can use it to make semifreddo, bake banana bread, set ice cream, the possibilities are endless.
4. Rubber spatula
There is nothing like a rubber spatula to get every last bit of batter from every corner of your bowl. It is perfect for folding in flour and other dry ingredients, it makes clean up easier and of course, it is good for licking the batter off it too. Despite every fancy gadget that may make your task easier, nothing beats a rubber spatula when it comes to doing the heavy duty work.
5. Metal measuring spoons and cups
Obviously, a set of measuring cups and spoons is the first thing you will buy but as I wrote in my kitchen hacks piece: Step away from the plastic. Plastic cups and spoons make measuring difficult and there’s always a danger of melting them near a hot flame. I have found sticky ingredients like honey and peanut butter are difficult to clean from plastic measuring utensils. Go metal all the way and get evenly measured ingredients every time.
These are my top five baking essentials for the novice baker. What are yours? Let me know in the comments!